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Sunday, January 16, 2011

In The Memory Of King by Brian Holiday-El

Let's Go!

The following is inspired by a posted picture of and a question posed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put forth by Heru G. Duenas of Positive Black Stories.!/pages/Positive-Black-Stories-By-Heru-G-Duenas/145708032139774

The question is, "Life's most urgent question.......what are you doing for others?"

Peace and Love Brothers and Sisters! You know, in some circles King's teachings and civic efforts catch a
bad rap...some of our most prominent thinkers, teachers, scholars etc. see Affirmative Action as a step
backwards, citing the precipitous decline in African American business and property ownership following the
advent of integration as evidence of a misdirected mass of people upon the path to empowerment through
polity. The question was once posed to me by one of my first REAL teachers during my Junior year in high-
school back in the late 90's, “what's more debilitating, Economic discrimination or Social discrimination?”
What a cognitive quagmire! Here we are nearly a half-century removed from the onset of the Civil Rights
Movement and the Afro-Asiatic peoples inhabiting the Americas are still an underclass whether viewed
through the lens of Economy or Polity. The mitigates, detractors, and opponents of King's social thesis extol
'Black Wall Street' as the model for self-determination for those up from slavery, as opposed to an
acclamation of Jesus' gospel of love to all man and Gandhi’s non-violence and peaceful protest to the
struggle of the children of the Maafa. They say we traded the bank for the bus. The leveling of these retorts
are not wholly invalid or without merit and they do warrant critical consideration, but they can never negate
the resonance of King's visionary reach! His contemporary was Brother Malcolm, who began his ministry as
a staunch proponent of Separation, but later grew in thought and mind to extend his thesis for self-
determination to moderate inclusion of all peoples regardless of race, creed etc. Deserving of mention is
Cleaver with his disciplined and armed militancy by the arm of the Black Panthers. The inextricable
connectedness of our plight and the inevitable necessity of unity to unearth ourselves from the muck and mire
of social marginalization, national and international, economic insolvency and disenfranchisement from the
body-politic brought these leaders of their day together, yet shortly thereafter they all were taken out,
methodically, systematically, one by one. What world would we live in now had these kings among kings met
again? What would have been the synthesis of their converged thinking? Is it a fair deduction to conclude that
the 'powers that be' also pondered the trajectory of one such meeting of the minds? King was still a fairly
young man! He was growing leery of the gradualist on capitol hill during the days preceding his assassination.
A meeting of the minds, a consensus and subsequent handshake was clearly in the offing. King's words and
the impact of his life are nothing short of magnanimous, but it must be remembered that as impacting as he
was, he was still a work in progress that was cut down before his full maturation. So, what are we doing for
others??? I know what were not doing! We're not honoring the legacy and the struggle of our ancestors,
ancient and recent by focusing more on what unites us than what divides us, accentuating the positive more
than the negative, magnifying the similarities over the differences, reconciling the disparities more than
aggravating them. Positive Black Stories has the formula my brother! King would be proud!

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